I’m Back…

Sorry, I haven’t blogged in quite a while. We just got back from the most magical place on Earth and then school started 2 days later. Talk about cutting it close! On top of all of that is the fact that this was our longest Disney vacation yet (7 nights/8 days) and we were all exhausted. I had planned on writing while there but let’s face it, spending time with the family was more important.

It was such a magical trip! We did almost everything on our Disney bucket list and still had time for swimming and some great meals. Here are the highlights and I will post more details on everything later: Continue reading

My favorite Disney apps

There are bunches of apps for smartphones to help you on your Disney vacation. Some of my smartphone apps are helpful with planning and others are in constant use while on my vacation.

Here are my favorites: Continue reading

Update: Disney’s Photopass Service

I love Disney’s Photopass Service. I think that it is totally worth the money if you utilize it correctly and plan ahead. Our first few trips, we didn’t use photopass and I regret that because we have so few pictures of our whole family. The photographers will take pictures with your camera, but their photos will be better!

To get the most bang for your buck, stop at every photographer you see in all the parks. Let’s be honest, you can’t have too many pictures of your family in front of the castle! There are photgraphers in every park. Here is a map and some tips of all the photopass photographers. Disney Photopass Map

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Having the kids involved with planning

My kids help with our trip planning even though they are only 5 & 7 years old. We discuss when to go, where they would like to eat, which characters are important for us to see, what rides are a must, what parades we have to watch. This helps us plan our time there and what is a priority for each of us. At Christmas, the main goals were Rapunzel and Santa. We planned 2 mornings in Magic Kingdom to be in line for those characters as soon as the park opened. For Star Wars weekend, the goal was to do Jedi Training and see the Hyperspace Hoopla. This upcoming trip, we are excited about Storybook Circus, Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom & Agent P!

I think it is important for them to realized that this costs us money and we have to save and plan each time we go. Continue reading

Oh no…I don’t have dining reservations!

If you read my previous post about the importance of dining reservations and are now freaking out, don’t worry! There are wonderful restaurants throughout WDW that will have open tables for walk up customers. I would not recommend going without dining reservations, but I am anal retentive and like to have my schedule planned out! Do not expect to get into character meals, these are always booked and impossible to get in unless you have lucked out with a cancellation! Epcot is always a good choice because there are so many restaurants. Yacht Club & Boardwalk are walking distance from Epcot & a long walk or boating distance from Hollywood. Contemporary, Grand Floridan & Polynesian are on the monorail line, so you can head there from Magic Kingdom and Epcot very easily! You can always call the reservation line – (407) WDW- DINE or use your smart phone and book through the internet!

Restaurants where you can get a table with little or no wait: Continue reading

The Importance of Dining Reservations

If you are new to WDW, you will see all sorts of information on Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs). If character meals & where you eat are important to you then I would highly recommend doing your dining reservations as soon as you book your trip. You can book dining without being on property and even before you book your trip.

Here is how it works: Continue reading

Traveling with Babies & Toddlers

I have so many people tell me that they will wait to take their kids to Disney when they are older. I recommend going while they still believe in the “magic”! Often, that means taking your preschooler with the baby tagging along.

First of all with young children, plan to travel during the late fall or winter season. Don’t take little guys when it is hot unless that is the only time you can take vacation.  The weather is so much better, you will enjoy yourselves more, & the prices are at their cheapest! If you do have to go in the heat, plan on daily breaks at the hotel to rest and cool down and have plenty of snack and drink breaks.

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Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure

Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure is up and running at Epcot’s World Showcase. For previous visitors of WDW, Agent P is basically a repurposed Kim Possible. For those of you new to this interactive way to visit the countries, I would highly recommend doing it! This is a free activity at the park and is a great way for kids to enjoy the World Showcase. I would do this in conjunction with the Kidcot stations where the kids color a Duffy Bear and get stamps at each country. Both of these are free of charge and the Kidcot is a free souvenir.

You can sign up at an Agent P kiosk at the International Gateway or the Odyssey Bridge between Future World and World Showcase. Innoventions had a place to get your mission, but that is not open yet.

You will receive a F.O.N.E (field operative notification equipment) which basically looks like a cell phone. This is your guide to a mission in your assigned country. You will be given instructions from Phineas and Ferb characters and given clues and directions to stop Doofenshmirtz. The F.O.N.E will give you pictures of places you need to stand near and have you push ok for things to happen. It will also ask you to find clues and codes and input them into the F.O.N.E. After you finish your mission, you will be asked if you would like to do another in a different country or the F.O.N.E will show you where to deposit your device in that country. Continue reading

New Dumbo!

The new Dumbo is soon to be up and running! There will be 2 Dumbo rides in Storybook Circus of Fantasyland. Fastpass will be available as well as the standby line. The standby line will have pagers similar to restaurants that will buzz you when it is your turn to get in line. The area where you wait with your pager is an air-conditioned, circus themed tent with a play area for the kids. Parents get a break while the kids can cool off and run around. I have read many complaints about this being against Uncle Walt’s vision of his parks, but I for one am looking forward to it! Here is a video of new Dumbo Queue Continue reading

Traveling around the Resort

Disney has a wonderful system for transporting guests easily and efficiently between the parks and resorts. This is one of the perks of staying on property. The transportation system makes it very convenient to park hop and go back to the hotel for a break during the day. Continue reading